Crossfit - One Size Fits All

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Socrastein, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    Didn't want to derail the cardio thread further, so I thought I'd take a nibble at this.

    No structured programming? No individualization? "Our specialization is not specializing". The specialization of any great coach IS specializing. Right on their site they say:

    Everyone do the exact same thing because everyone needs the exact same thing, right? Wrong.

    If someone has shoulder impingement, should their program include all the push presses and jerks that you find in a typical WOD?

    What if an individual is overweight and has trouble absorbing force? Should they be running for multiple KMs a week?

    Why should anyone ever follow a randomly created cookie-cutter "program" with no semblance of progression or individualization? This thread could very well be about yoga, P-90x, etc.
  2. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    *shrug* Personally, I'd rather be a generalist. It's a personal choice.
    Actually, if you spend any amount of time reading and doing crossfit, you quickly realise that the WOD is changed to fit the person- it's called scaling.
    As regards the shoulder impingement thing, I suppose I have to take your point.
    So you just don't like programs in general?

    While we're on the subject, people might find this article illuminating:
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  3. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    I'm not talking specializing in the sense of only developing one fitness quality: I mean in the sense of making a program that is special to the person for whom it is designed, and it is created to help THEM achieve their goals, not to help EVERYONE.

    Scaling isn't the same as an individually designed and periodized program. You can find "scaling" at any commercial gym class, but you won't find individualized programming.

    It's not that I don't like programs in general, I don't like cookie cutter programs. One size fits all. It's an insult to how intricate and individual the human body is. As Cosgrove says "Time magnifies all programming errors".

    I write programs every week, and every single one is based on an individual assessment I put the client through, and is written in the context of that assessment, the person's goals, and their exercise and injury history, among other things.

    It's like going to the doctor and being prescribed medicine and surgery before you actually discuss your issues. If that sounds like a completely off base analogy, I'd say one needs to reconsider how individual each person is and therefore how individual their program ought to be.
  4. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    Yes, but how individual are they, really? I mean, most people's (including my own) fitness problems are basically the same, aren't they?
    Actually, every so often I have a crisis of faith regarding crossfit, and am open to persuasion. I don't want to come over as a zealot.
  5. tonyv107

    tonyv107 Valued Member

    I think crossfit is the "lazymans" routine. It's for those who dont care enough about fitness to do some research and build a routine that suits their needs. Or folks who don't have goals and want the routine laid out for them. I'm not against it, especially if it gets people off their couch, but I'd say it's no good for people who are serious about fitness
  6. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    I've actually come into work since I last posted, and I have all my program (past and present) here with me. I won't use names, but I'll give a brief nutshell overview to highlight some of the differences.

    Client 1 Bob

    Bob is 60. He's sustained a herniation in his lower back 3 times in 3 years. He was seeing a PT that whole time too. He's also been told he should never squat (I asked him how he goes to the bathroom...) by same PT due to an old knee surgery and present day pain with certain (incorrectly performed) movements.

    He has never weight trained since high school, though he walks a lot. He's worked at a computer for decades.

    He has kyphosis so severe that he can't put his head against a wall if his upper back and hips are touching it. His hip internal rotation is very restricted, nowhere close to where it should be. His hamstrings are also very short. His right shoulder has very little internal rotation ROM and his left is almost passing. His lats are so tight that when he has his arms over his head while on his back his elbows are over 3 inches off the ground. His right psoas is inactive while his left doesn't show any issues.

    His horizontal pulling strength is severely underdeveloped compared to his pressing (push-ups vs inverted rows). He can barely press 40lbs overhead without dramatic compensation.

    He just wants to fix his back so he can do everyday activities without pain or risk of herniation. He wants to learn to move correctly so as not to aggravate his back or knees. He can train 3x/week easily.

    Client 2 Chuck

    Chuck is 29. He has never been seriously injured and he has never done any exercise aside from PE in school. He's been a flight attendant for years and spends a lot of time on his feet in and outside of work.

    Chuck showed adequate range of motion in nearly every single test, even bordering on hyper-mobility in the hips. He was equally weak in all the tests I put him through, with no glaring imbalances.

    He wants to lose some fat and build some muscle, and specifically would like to feel strong for the first time in his life. He can only train every couple weeks when he gets in from a period of back to back flying.

    It should go without saying that both these clients have differing needs and therefore their programs should look NOTHING ALIKE. I can assure you that there programs are completely different, and if I gave Bob Chuck's program Bob would be back in the hospital very quickly. If I gave Chuck Bob's program it would do almost nothing for him, and slowly overtime he would develop extreme hyper-mobility in his hips, hamstrings, shoulders, and lats.

    I could go into more detail, but honestly if that doesn't make the point I don't know what would. If you think everyone's fitness problems are basically the same I suspect there is still a lot for you to learn about assessing and individualization.

    While many people present similar issues (tight hip flexors, weak glute activation, poor scapular stability, etc.) that doesn't justify universal programming. And even if everyone DID have the same issues, Crossfit doesn't incorporate movement drills and prehab to correct those issues.

    With all that being said...

    I like that Crossfit is making hard work popular. In fact, I LOVE that it's becoming culturally acceptable (bit by bit) to grunt and puke and push yourself to your limits. That's a big win for the fitness industry.

    I like that Crossfit emphasizes the money movements: squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, presses, O-Lifts, etc. Whether or not they're recommended and taught responsibly is a separate issue from whether or not they're awesome exercises... which they are.

    I like the Crossfit emphasizes more than one fitness quality. I think they take it a bit too far, but the idea of strong people doing some burpees and fit people doing some heavy deadlifts is awesome too.

    I actually get asked ALL THE TIME if I do/teach Crossfit, because I have my clients doing intense workouts with big money movements and I use a lot of timed sets.
  7. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    In the words of the wise Kenny Powers:

    "I play a real sport. I'm not trying to be the best at exercising."


    I'd rather be exceptional at a few things than average at everything.
  8. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Socrastein basically covered alot of whats wrong with it, plus doinf high rep complex lifts in a exhausted state (especially when the teaching of those lifts by and large sucks) is just an accident waiting to happen

    people dont tend to pick on crossfit because of its cult like mentality or its strange creator, they pick it apart for the sound reasosns in the above posts
  9. FRT

    FRT Valued Member

    I will say this; I have done Crossfit, and I can say their workouts are some of the best I have ever done. And the format is spectacular. Anybody from an athlete to complete beginner can go as fast or slow as they choose, and get a great workout.

    Don't forget either, that Crossfit isn't about getting a huge benchpress, it's about FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENTS. Exercises that use the entire body are more applicable to life, because isn't that what life is; using everything you have to get the job done.

    If you need to see what they do, all you have to do is youtube some videos, and you will see crazy good fitness. Like women doing 30 pullups crazy.

    Train Harder!
  10. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    The bench press is pretty functional. Ever push someone?


    I hate the term "functional" in regards to physical fitness. Is there such a thing as "dysfunctional" in that same vein?
  11. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    some of the best workouts for what exactly (apart from feeling sick) ? strength, explosiveness? the only strong fast guys at crossfit are the ones who came into the programme strong and fast, as for conditioning give me a break they used PJ Penn as there poster boy for conditioning back in the day when trying to see the programme to MMA guys :bang:

    as for functional give me a break how can doing high rep cleans with low weight, box jumps in a fatigued state and high rep deadlifts with naff all on the bar be considered functional.....unles you are talking about kipping chin ups because everyone knows thats how military giys get over swinging backwards and forth first :bang:
  12. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Did someone say shake-weight? :p How about Power Plate?
  13. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    You've obviously not even looked at the WODs or you wouldn't talk such rot :D
    As for the crud about doing complex lifts in an exhausted state... it sounds good until you realise what's happening. You are putting things above your head. There's no magic about the movement that means you only have to do them for low reps in isolation. In fact, there are tons of real-world tasks where you have to use explosive movements in a fatiqued state.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  14. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    of course not I’ve never looked at the WODS, not done cross fit for about a year (probably before you even started working out lol) own most of their e-magazines or spent anytime actually investigating their protocols before coming to my conclusions based on my understanding of the energy systems and the human body in much investigation have you done of different training mythologies exactly :)

    Of course there's no magic in those movements, mind you if most crossfit coaches could actually coach those movements in the first place they might understand why doing them in an exhausted state is not the best of ideas

    To quote a coach that has actually produced athletes at every level in American sports, any idiot can make a athlete feel tired and exhausted it takes a good coach to actually make someone stronger and more explosive
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  15. FRT

    FRT Valued Member

    I'm not insulting anybody's training methods here. All I said is what I have experienced from Crossfit. There's no need to be angry about somebody else finding useful what you don't like. It's just a different way to do things.

    As for "how can [exercises] in a fatigued state be functional?", it's best said this way. If you can lift X amount of weight fresh, can you still do that same amount after you just ran a mile? It's about not letting fatigue stop you from maximum performance.

    As for "best workouts for what?", I'm talking from the perspective of muscle strength and endurance combined. Anybody is strong when you are fresh. It's much harder to be strong when you are tired, which is what the entire point of this type of workout is. It's not about doing 4x6 of whatever. It's about being able to keep going and get the work done no matter how tired you are. You know, kind of like.....well, a fight. =)

    If you are unconvinced about how good this type of training is for MMA or other combat sports, you should look at Athletic Performance Institute. If you don't know who they are, they are the people who take care of Sean Sherk's conditioning. And the format is remarkably similar to Crossfit!

    And I don't think ANYBODY can question Sean Sherk's conditioning. =)

    Train Harder!
  16. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    how can the following be described as anyhting like crossfit

    or the following be seen as anything like a typical crossfit week
    Detailed Legs, Back and Biceps Strength Training Routine
    Detailed Interval Style Cardiovascular Training Routine

    Detailed Chest, Shoulders and Tricep Strength Training Routine
    Detailed Long and Slow Style Cardiovascular Training Routine

    No Strength Training Routine
    Detailed Tempo Style Cardiovascular Training Routine

    Detailed Total Body Strength Training Routine
    Detailed Speed and Agility Training Routine

    No Strength Training Routine
    Detailed Fartlek Style Cardiovascular Training Routine

    Detailed Caveman Training™ Routine
    Detailed Speed and Agility Training Routine

    so you are comparing a system that uses a linear type perodisation programme, a body split strength type workout with seperate days for speed work with crossfit.....really.....

    And id be careful watching a single caveman workout and assuming thats what they do all year round, if ou speak to anyone that actually trains fighters: Rooney, Santana, Jamsion for example they will all tell you that their training is perodized in some manner and what you see on the videos represents b ut one day out of 360 training wise
  17. tgace

    tgace Valued Member

    Crossfit is great for "real world" use in military, LE, firefighting application. If you want to be able to hump over terrain, climb obstacles and fight at the end of it all you shouldn't be focusing on "specialization".
  18. Princess Haru

    Princess Haru Valued Member

    I expect the women doing stuff like the 'Fran' on youtube already had a high level of fitness, low fat and bodyweight. There are also clips of others who are really pushing hard to complete sets fairly slowly and fatigued. Doing 21 squat presses with a weight you can just manage would seem a good way to get injured

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